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Posted Thursday, March 13, 2008
The booked guests were Irish singer/songwriter, Kieran Halpin, with a shorter set from Kate Maclurcan in the early part of the evening. More of them later. Jane Scott was the MC for the night and opened proceedings with a recitation of a Henry Lawson poem called "The Shearer".
Hugh Keogh is living back in Sydney and he performed a song he had written for his son, also Dougie Mclean's "Caledonia" and the traditional "Jolly Beggarman". The audience was in a particularly good mood for participation, and everybody joined in enthusiastically.
Gerry Myerson and his daughter Sarah sang a couple of about the exodus of Hebrews from Egypt. It's always a pleasure to see families perform together.
Kate Maclurcan is a very warm, relaxed singer who is a campaigner for human rights, especially those of asylum seekers and this comes out in her choice of material, including one about Irish emigrants to America and another about the Stolen Generation. The audience response to Kate's very gentle version of the Lawson classic, "Andy's Gone with Cattle", was such that Kate repeated the song to enjoy the audience participation. She performed the Eric Bogle song "Endangered Species", a very tongue-in-cheek lament about the coming extinction of the white Anglo-Saxon male.
I was struck by Kieran Halpin's percussive guitar style and his passionate engaging performance. His first contribution was a simple and melodic song, "China Rose". His song "Closing Time in Paradise" told about being jet lagged and lonesome in Sydney. A love song was followed by "No Turning Back" about the war in Northern Ireland and the struggle to put old animosities in the past and live in peace. His songs were a great commentary on life and living in general and were very easy for the audience to identify with. He finished off with a rousing song of celebration at the fall of the Berlin Wall.
It was very nice to see some new faces in our audience and hopefully they will tell their friends and keep coming back. I felt the acts this month created a very warm atmosphere.
Photographs - Bob Bolton